26 Nov 1977 – Series Six (12)

Comedian Bill Nixon.
Image: The Stage Media Company Limited

The four assembled judges for the twelfth show of series six were Mickie Most, Jack Parnell, Shaw Taylor and, making his third appearance on the show, disc jockey Terry Wogan.

The seven new acts looking to secure an All Winners Show appearance were;

  • Abbott (seven-piece group) from Luton
  • Brian Edwards (vocalist) from Essex
  • Bill Nixon (comedian) from Bradford
  • Xhabo Puppets (speciality act) from Exeter
  • Samantha Sinclair (vocalist) from Liverpool
  • Terry McCann (vocalist / pianist) from Bloxwich
  • Zoot (six-piece group) from Northants.
Former teacher Terry McCann was the show winner.
Image: The Stage Media Company Limited

The majority of ITV regions pitched the talent on show against the first episode of The Sun Makers, a new four part BBC TV Doctor Who serial starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson in the hope the acts offered a greater mainstream appeal. I’d imagine that ITV probably lost that battle but, in a low-scoring show with none of the acts managing a score above 100 points, the winner of this show was pianist and singer Terry McCann.

Terry performed an original song at the piano. The song had been written for him by a close friend. It’s highly likely that the song may have featured on Terry’s latest EP, Friends. Terry’s first LP, Stand Back It’s Rent-A-Crowd, was released two years before his New Faces appearance and sold out within two months.

Terry quit his job as a music teacher and turned professional in 1976. Since becoming a fulltime entertainer, he had been filling all types of bookings from folk clubs to cabaret as well as recording BBC radio and TV.

Following his two New Faces appearances Terry continued to perform and released his second album in 1980. The Chicago…Vendaam…Non Stop! LP featured a number of covers, including songs written by Kim Carnes, Ralph McTell, Carole King and Roger Whittaker, as well as a Terry McCann original composition, Stay.

Zoe Longridge and her Xhabo Puppets. Image: Aberdeen Press and Journal. D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.

The unusually named Xhabo Puppets were designed and made by puppeteer Zoe Longridge. Her black theatre act had been one of the featured acts in the Darlington Civic Centre production of Aladdin in 1975 and appeared again in the HM Theatre, Aberdeen’s production of the same pantomime the following year.

Comedian Bill Nixon had previously appeared on rival show Opportunity Knocks in September 1974, but the gap between that and his New Faces appearance was sufficient enough for him to be eligible to appear on this show. Bill was also the head of Annabelle Entertainments in Bradford and the personal manager of last week’s show winner Bazz Harris.

Vocalist Samantha Sinclair was making her second appearance on New Faces. Her previous appearance was nearly three years earlier in series three (show 3.19) on 25 January 1975 when she scored 103 points, at the time the highest score for a female vocalist. That high score is what is likely to have earned her a second chance on this show in series six.

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